Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls @ Camden Roundhouse (Lost Evenings) 12/05/2017
Few acts personify the troubadour lifestyle quite like Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls. Their gruelling touring schedules and love for the stage emulates greats like Springsteen, Cash and Dylan, and with over 2000 shows to boot, the next logical step was a four day festival – Lost Evenings – in one of Britain’s most iconic venues.
Night one of Lost Evenings got off to a super start, with Cahir O’Doherty’s (Fighting With Wire) new band New Pagans bringing their blend of electronic rock to the Roundhouse stage. Led by the vocals of Lyndsay McDoughal, the four piece provided a perfect main stage opener, as they added to a crowd that was already full of joy and reasonably priced Roundhouse beer.
Next up was AJJ, previously known as Andrew Jackson Jihad, and boy, has this guy got talent. With plenty going on around the venue, including food outside, ping pong and The Nick Alexander Stage, which featured the hugely talented Crows, AJJ managed to lead the charge ahead of the arrival of the main man.
By the time Frank Turner bounced onto stage in his trademark white shirt and black tie, the Roundhouse was bouncing, and that is testament to the community of fans that Frank has built up since 2007. Opening in his usual boisterous style with the brilliant I Knew Prufrock Before He Was Famous, Frank had the audience eating out of his hand. And, why wouldn’t they be? He is up there with the best live modern musicians and has an arsenal of anthemic gems at his disposal!
As the atmosphere grew, beer flew through the air in appreciation for The Next Storm and the iconic I Still believe, which saw the audience fill every space in the high ceilinged venue, as they screamed back the words ‘I still believe, that the power of rock and roll will save us all!’
With six albums to spread across four nights, Frank delivered a perfectly balanced set, filled with audience interaction and low key banter in a way that only Frank Turner can. With Plain Sailing Weather, I Am Disappeared and Wessex Boy all receiving thunderous receptions, Lost Evenings was in full flow, and the realisation was creeping in that there was still another three nights of this ahead.
Although these tracks received a response of epic proportions, Glory Hellelujah and The Queen Is Dead really did reach the rafters. The audience response, Frank’s honest approach and the sonics circling around The Roundhouse brought these sing along songs to life, and ensured Lost Evenings was given the opening night it truly deserved.
After the briefest of breaks, Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls returned to the stage and began their encore with The Angel Islington and Get Better, as they slowly built the anticipation before the ultimate finale – Four Simple Words. With a slow start and a ferociously fast paced middle, Four Simple Words offers everything as a closing number, and as Frank sailed through the audience, mic in hand, the ecstasy of Camden came to its climax in the most punk rock fashion.
As the lights came on, there was a genuine excitement amongst fans, with the aforementioned community spirit running wild. Night one of Lost Evenings was over, but there were three more to go and fans walked out discussing what set the mighty Frank Turner would over the next three nights.
An incredible night, with a bulletproof performance from one of modern music’s great rock and roll artists!